New York City is looking to join Chicago, Houston, Denver and other major cities by passing legislation to create its first comprehensive cultural plan.
The legislation, which the City Council passed by a vote of 49 to 0 on Tuesday, requires the city to analyze its current cultural priorities, assess how service to different neighborhoods can be improved, study the condition of arts organizations and artists, and plan how the city can remain artist-friendly in a time of high rents and other economic pressures.
The bill was introduced by the council members Stephen Levin (Brooklyn) and Jimmy Van Bramer (Queens).
“Administrations come and go; cultural affairs commissioners come and go,” said Mr. Van Bramer, who is chairman of the council’s cultural affairs committee and majority leader. “What we want is to have this ongoing prioritization of arts and culture.”
Tom Finkelpearl, the city’s cultural affairs commissioner, said he fully supported the plan. “We went back and forth and back and forth on improving the bill and I have completely come around to the idea that it’s going to be great for New York,” he said.
“Even though I spend all my time out looking at everything in all the boroughs, it still only adds up to an anecdotal idea of what’s happening,” he continued. “Are there parts of the city that are not adequately served by cultural resources or are there imaginative ideas for getting cultural resources to those communities?”
The plan requires the city to find out what arts groups in the five boroughs want and need and to incorporate these recommendations in a plan to be submitted by July 1, 2017.